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April 11, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-11

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OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, April 11, 1984

The Michigan Daily

The possibility and need

This article was written by Larry
Dean, Kurt Finkbeiner, Joni Fit-
tgerald, Harsono Harjadi, and
Debbie Houghtby.
"At the Crossroads" is a document
created by the Communications Era
Task Force. Available for general
distribution in mid April, 1984, this
document concerns the challenges con-
fronting us as we move out of the in-
dustrial era and into the com-
munications era.
To bring these issues to the
awareness of the University com-
munity, we have summarized the main
concepts of "At the Crossroads,"
showing both the crises we face and
their possible solutions. People around
the world have recognized that the need
for change exists; this awareness gives
each of us the opportunity to improve
our future.
TECHNOLOGIES which are forming
the bridge between the industrial and
communications eras are altering the
speed and magnitude of cultural
changes.Major changes are occurring
within our lifetimes, rather than taking
centuries as they once did. Man wanted
to explore space, and within a couple of
decades he not only explored it, but
walked on the moon as well.
Another large advance has been in
the area of biotechnology. Man has
been able to create new life-forms in the
lab, and these are actually being paten-
ted. Communication media such as the
telephone and television - as well as
satellites orbiting the earth - can con-
nect any two places on the globe within
a matter of seconds, and airplanes are
now capable of moving people thousan-
ds of miles in just a few hours.
For better or worse, these instrumen-
ts compress time and make space much
smaller than it ever was before. This
advanced communication and travel
has facilitated interactions between

groups whose paths had not previously
crossed. Due to the fact that the norm
has been for groups to distrust and
dislike other groups that were un-
familiar or different, this increased in-
teraction can cause some conflicts.
Therefore, "At the Crossroads" correc-
tly states that us-them attitudes must
be changed if people wish to live in
peace.
COOPERATION between humans
and nature will be the key to assuring a
positive future. For example,
cooperation with nature in terms of
learning new methods of farming must
be found. These methods must include
techniques which will minimize adver-
se environmental effects such as
erosion, desertification, and short
water supply. We are fast approaching
the physical and ecological limits of the
planet, and every effort must be made
to preserve and promote the resources
which still exist.
One of the most important crossroads
we have come to in our lives is a result
of nuclear weaponry. Never before in
history has the destruction of the planet
been such a real threat. We have wit-
nessed unprecedented increases in the
number of nuclear weapons (From
three in 1945 to 50,000 in 1983), and by
the end of the century planned growth
in these stockpiles will lead to the
equivalent of seven tons of TNT for
each person on earth. Studies of the
probable outcome of nuclear war warn
us that there will be no "inners" - war
in itself has become self-defeating and
obsolete. Concerns for what will happen
on "the day after" must shift to what is
happening today. "We can choose to
grow up or blow up;" this implies that
the choice is ours as to what our future
will be like. It is our responsibility to
make correctchoices.
Economic disparity is another impor-
tant reality with which we must come to
grips. This calls for a reexamination of
our values so that all people will lead
healthier, happier lives. Each minute

30 children die for want of food or
medicine while, in that same minute
nations spend $1.3 million on their
military forces.
With all these changes, the move to
outer space has altered our perceptions
of the earth and our place in the univer-
se. The space program has provided us
with a visual image of the earth floating
in space. This must awaken us to the
fact that we are all one family living in
the same house. Warfare and economic
disparity are not acceptable.
THE COMMUNICATIONS era
requires some basic awareness.
Authority should be based on com-
petence, knowledge, and wisdom,
rather than position and force; we

tions. Nature has its own complex and
productive system providing renewable
resources of energy and minerals. Only
through cooperation with nature will we
be able to preserve these resources. At
the same time, the harmony of nature
and our behavior will develop new men-
tal and spiritual disciplines, promoting
healthier lifestyles.
In the workplace, the need for
creativity and self-direction requires
cooperation. Participative
management produces higher produc-
tivity in industry - participation, in
addition to employee ownership, is the
key to the success of cooperation.
COOPERATION among neighbors
will improve local security and com-

'Each minute 30 children die for want of
food or medicine while, in that same
minute, nations spend $1.3 million on their
military forces.'

for c
The access and organization
mation have improved -p
better educated and more skil
ding information.
Modern teaching tries to pr
dividual education in institt
which this individualized edu
practically impossible. Educ.
become so structured and sp
that personal growth, devel
and discovery are ignored
produce employable adults. W
huge wealth of human potentia
little is being done to make use
Schooling must be centere
the learner, not the instructo
curriculum. The best way to
this situation is not to try to ch
existing system but to questior
datmentals on- which this s!
maintained. "At the Cros
proposes formal education as
to lifelong education rather tha
institution of learning. E
should be placed on coopera
competition.
A CLOSER look is also giv(
new job attitudes that have ris
society. We place too muche
on economic worth and not er
human values and needs. The
ment of a community and nat
mitted to solving the world's
problems is crucial to futur
growth. It is possible to ex
dustrial production while at t
time respecting man and
through a redirection of the pr(
of capital.
To accomplish the needed
discussed above we must rea
we are directly affected by th
situation. Global, national, a
munity decision-making n
initiated by each and every
"The effective government de
the consent of the governed."
get involved with our communi
nation, and world. Then and o
will we discover that solutionsc

of infor- The fundamental question to be an-
eople are swered here is "what can I do on a per-
led at fin- sonal level?" Most people are likely to
excuse themselves from action because
rovide in- they feel that the tasks at hand are too
utions in big for any immediate change. But
ication is change is possible and we are its
ation has vehicle.
ecialized We must realize that we can act. We
lopment, can talk to people around us about what
so as to is happening in our world - families
Ve have a friends, students, neighbors. It makes
il, but too us realize that we are not alone in our
of it. hopes and concerns, but rather, that all
d around our destinies are intermingled. We can.
r, or the take a new look at the patterns of our
improve lives, instigating small changes in the."
iange the roles we play as student, parent,
n the fun- worker, artist. There are many
ystem is possibilities for change hidden here un-
sroads" der our noses. We can unite with others
a support who share our concern - a small group
in just an can be amazingly powerful.
mphasis We can use the many "tools"
tion, not available to us. These include books
and periodicals that call for change. By
en to the reading them and passing them on to
en in our friends, we are making an effort for
emphasis positive change. Also, we can use "At
nough on the Crossroads" as a kick-off point
develop- discussing all-these issues, as we have
ion com- done here.
existing Last, but not least, we can strengthen
re world our network of friends and colleagues.
pand in- These people are most interested in our
he same views, and are apt to listen to what we
nature have to say. Change must always start
esent use at the heart and move outward from
there.
changes Once we realize change is possible,
ilize that we will find a myriad of exciting ac-
e world's tivities and new directions. We are
nd com- ready for fundamental change. We
nust be must proceed with humor and tolerance
person. - both of ourselves and others - into a
pends on future that is only partially glimpsed,
We must but which promises to be as rich as the
ty, state, diverseness of our individual viewpoin-
)nly then ts, and then stronger and more vibrant
do exist. still.

should develop a common loyalty to the
world as a member of the human race,
in addition to local and national com-
mitments. We should realize that our
actions affect both our environment
and our world - however, we need to
balance our behavior, considering both
the immediate and long-term effects.
Cooperation is needed in the conser-
vation of resources and the develop-
ment of human potential, since
unlimited resources do not in reality
exist.
Ecology has illustrated how all life on
earth is interdependent. Electronic
technology has made the world
smaller. Attempts to conquer or exploit
nature make us victims of our own ac-

munity activities. (As a result, people
will move less frequently). To provide
mutual security we must understand
the way each person perceives the
world. We have to understand sour dif-
ferences, since we come from in-
dividual experiences and heritages. We.
must not act to make others less secure
- it does not make sense that we feel
secure if others. are threatened by our
actions. Retaliation will only destroy
us.
Specialization, developed during the
Industrial Era, created dependence on
the specialist. Hence, it destroys the
balance of human relationships. Many
changes have occured which show that
society cannot sustain this any longer.

ie t t satT Uivi oat n
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 153

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Sinclair
...C 3THE OTHER HAND , My OPfONENT,
MR. HART HAS f'I.4iCLY S'TATED
H.E WOULD REARRANGE E DECK
CHAIRS ON THE RI T
SIDE OF THE ECKI
(lA

WNE'RE TIR(EP OF THE
oI.p ARRANGEMvEN~TS/.

Editorials- represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Report confirms the obvious

9
0

T uition costs for this state's 15 four-
T1. year colleges and universities are
skyrocketing, enrollments are falling,
and last year's 38 pecent tax increase
is slowly being chipped away. The
foundation of the higher education
system is crumbling. To address this
distressing. problem, Gov. James
Blanchard appointed a 26-member
commission to study higher education
and last week the commission released
an interim report. The success of this
commission's final report should be
judged on the solutions it provides to
six major questions: How can the
higher education system become more
affordable without sacrificing quality.
How can the state ensure access to
more minority students? How can the
system maintain diversity and reduce
duplication? And how can the system
contribute to the economic
revitalization of the state?
The commission's preliminary
report represents an attempt to deal
with these crucial questions but
provides few concrete solutions.
Rather, the commission has collected
a lot of data confirming what most
legislators, citizens, and university
presidents already suspected or knew:
institutions need to more clearly define
their missions in order to limit
duplicated programs, no new
programs should be set up, spin-off in-
dustries should be encouraged to in-
crease funding sources, the decline in
minority enrollment should be halted,
and some statewide method of coor-
dination be implemented.
On the most important issue of who
or what will ensure that institutions
work toward following some of these

issue which must be resolved in the
final report to be released in October.
And lawmakers shouldn't ignore
recent commission recommendations
just because they are likely to be un-
pleasant to local constituencies. Com-
missions in 1974 and 1980 found that a
"Superboard" or advisory board was
necessary to implement their recom-
mendations.
Those recommendations have never
been accepted or acted upon. The
recent commission's conclusion that
such a "Superboard'' is neither
"politically practical nor ad-
ministratively prudent" may well be
true. But their findings, much like the
1974 and 1980 commissions, suggest
that, some strategic planning,
mechanism is required.
If that mechanism can't be the State
Board of Education or some type of
"Superboard," and if the institutions
won't streamline programs on their
own, how will the systems problems be
resolved? The state will only have
created another study commission
producing more data which outlines
problems without solutions.
Commission member Philip Power
has said that members should ap-
proach their work with the attitude
that they must talk in detail with key
members of the legislature and the
community and build up a consensus
so the commission's recommendations
can win approval from the legislature.
A series of public hearings will be held
next month to increase public in-
volvement. This is a laudable move
and University students should make
their voices heard in Lansing May 3.
Power's belief that this education

--,

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

MSU
To the Daily:
After reading the conclusion to
the four week trial acquitting
seven men of the rape of an MSU
student, my stomach turned as
did my belief in the legal system.
My nauseous feeling was coerced
further while eating in the
cafeteria. It so happened that sit-
ting next to me sat another per-
son with a Daily, who was
reading the same article I had
just read. This person reacted in
laughter to the article and the
immorality of the woman in-
volved. "What kind of girl.. ." he
prefaced his ill-conceived jokes.
My stomach turned once more
and my belief in any justice
anywhere was forced out of my
mind. I cut my meal short re-

rape trial
the woman was a consenting
adult in the incident. This
assumption does not follow from
the legal verdict.
Though it may be possible the
woman did give her consent, she

no joking matter

0

no longer feels this way. In ef-
fect, she has been raped; and the
legal system offers her little
solace. In such a case justice can
only be served by a greater
humanitarian concern. A con-

cern the seven men acquitted
would have done well to have
respected.
- Tim Smith
April 2

Daily messes up on merger

To the Daily:
The Daily has again shown that
it is incapable of reporting ac-
curately on any subject of impor-
tance. In the article reporting on
the meeting between un-
dergraduates, deans from the
Colleges of Engineering and LSA,
and myself, I could not find a
single accurate item.
BLOOM COUNTY

Via this letter, I would like to
inform all your readers not to
rely on any of your reporting
relative to the merger of the
computer science and
engineering effort on this cam-
pus, and seek information direc-
tly from the departments in-
volved.
I request that you publish this

letter so that the students will not
be shortchanged by your shoddy
practices.
-Gideon Frieder
April 5
Frieder is chairman of com-
puter science and engineering.
by Berke Breathed

0

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